The contract will probably say something like “I will do my best to sell your book in return for receive 15% of the deal.” Contracts are generally about two pages long and don’t need to be reviewed by an attorney, although my attorney would argue vehemently that all contracts should be reviewed by legal council before being signed. If you choose to review it yourself watch for these worrisome points.
- If the agent wants to be your exclusive representative for more than one year be leery as to why.
- If the agent wants to charge you for the cost of office overhead if the book isn’t sold then flee. I always feel better if I yell SCAM while fleeing.
After you sign a contract listen closely to your agents advice. If they think your proposal needs to be changed then change it. Your agent has a lot more experience selling books to publishers than you do so pay attention when they speak.
When your agent lands a publisher he should be able to negotiate an advance for your book. Advances range from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand. Cash the check and finish writing your book.